does the fate of the nation rest on how well 9- and 13-year-olds bubble in answer sheets? I don’t think so. Neither does British economist, S. J. Prais. We look at the test scores and worry about the nation’s economic performance. Prais looks at the economic performance and worries about the validity of the test scores: “That the United States, the world’s top economic performing country, was found to have school attainments that are only middling casts fundamental doubts about the value and approach of these [international assessments].”
Gerald Bracey via http://voices.washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet/standardized-tests/so-what-if-the-us-is-not-no-1.html
I am in the middle of “Catchng Up or Leading the Way” by Yong Zhao who discusses this at great length as well. I feel like I am getting out of a cult- what I had bought into as the truth is simply what some wanted me to believe, not what really was the truth. I have spent the last 6 years pushing students out of exploratory classes and into remediation classes so they could meet the standards. In reality it is the creativity in the other classes that would really help some of these students be successful! Ugh.
We continue to force kids into additional math and reading classes in order to meet AYP. But that can be detrimental to the student when it’s just a repeat of the instruction they just had in math or reading. In order for those kids to take those additional classes they have to drop classes that they really enjoy and are good at. Not all kids are expert readers or mathematicians; we need to expand on their interest areas and incorporate the math and reading into it.